Algae Turf Scrubbers or ATS as they are commonly known are an interesting and practical way to filter certain unwanted nutrients from reef aquarium water. Creating a a dedicated place for turf algae to grow both outcompetes algaes in an aquarium display, while removing nitrates, phosphates and pH depressing carbon dioxide.
Macroalgae scrubbers using the stringy Chaetomorpha has been the most popular option for phytoremediation in reef aquariums, with units from Pax Bellum becoming very popular in the last few years. But there is a case to be made for using microalgae, and British company Aquaristik Innovation is hoping to release and modern take on the ATS early next year.
With a slim compact design the ATS from Aquaristik Innovation is hoping to make ATS easier to use and install to get the benefits that a healthy crop of microalgae can contribute to reef water filtration. The Aquaristik Innovation ATS uses slim LED striplights with a horticultural blend of diodes to maximize photosynthetic stimulation. Other companies like Santa Monica Filtration and Clearwater have made some progress in educating reefers of the potential benefits of ATS so we’ll have to see how Aquaristik Innovation can improve on the concept when their ATS units are fully baked.